Gallery volunteer says art brings joy and cultivates ideas
  • Thursday 12 May 2016
Caloundra Gallery volunteer Annemarie Stone

A love of art and a passion for promoting art locally inspired Annemarie Stone to pop in to Caloundra Regional Gallery and sign up as a volunteer.

It’s now been just over two years since that day and Annemarie said there is laughter, joy and surprises each day at the gallery.

“I really believe in the power of art to cultivate ideas, uplift, educate, and give joy,” she said.

“I wanted to become a volunteer at the gallery so that I could help promote art locally. We have a thriving art culture here.”

Sunshine Coast Council Community and Environment portfolio councillor Jenny McKay said volunteers have a tremendously positive effect on our communities.

“We are blessed to have a growing culture of volunteering on the Sunshine Coast, which we really appreciate.  It is also great to get positive feedback from our volunteers about how they are getting something back from their volunteering experiences.

The ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’ theme for National Volunteers Week reflects the mutual benefits to be gained through volunteering,” Cr McKay said.

Annemarie agrees, she says the variety of work and friendships has developed over the two years have made the work thoroughly enjoyable.

“No two shifts are the same,” she said.

“Sometimes we’re so busy with patrons, especially with children, we need to think on our feet and be tactful and mindful of visitor’s needs.

“I love serving in the gallery shop, especially when gifts are purchased. People always leave with a smile, as well as a beautifully wrapped gift.”

There are so many highlights working at the gallery, it’s hard to name just a few Annemarie said.

“Family fun days are great. The place is a hive of activity out in the park and inside the gallery. The kids have so much fun.

“The Sunshine Coast Art Prize is by far the highlight of the year. The official opening and winner’s announcement is a really exciting night, and there are so many wonderful artworks on display.

“The talks that are run at the gallery, especially from exhibiting artists, give us a greater appreciation of the artworks, and we can then convey that to visitors when we run tours.

“There are also lots of workshops that people can join to improve their art skills.

“And of course we all enjoy exhibition opening nights where it is a celebration and appreciation of the hard work that the artists have done.”

The gallery provides training and opportunities in retail, working creatively with young people and being a gallery exhibitions guide. Call 5420 8299 or visit the gallery website for more information on volunteering.